fresh voices from the front lines of change







Green New Deal Calls For National Climate Solutions

Green New Deal resolution calls for 'national mobilization' on climate, economy. Politico: "Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) will release a blueprint for a Green New Deal on Thursday urging a "10-year national mobilization" for a speedy shift away from fossil fuels and calling for national health care coverage and job guarantees in a sweeping bid to remake the U.S. economy. The burgeoning left-wing faction within the Democratic Party has sought to persuade the 2020 White House contenders to sign onto the Green New Deal’s tenets in a bid to push climate change and the broad economic platform up the ladder of party priorities. And so far, several presidential hopefuls, such as Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), have endorsed at least the concept of a Green New Deal. The six-page, non-binding resolution from Ocasio-Cortez and Markey is an attempt to add substance to the proposals that have fired up a wave of new activists who are planning to barnstorm lawmakers' offices in the Capitol in the coming days — and to set an agenda for the Democrats in the 2020 election. “[A] new national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization on a scale not seen since World War II and the New Deal era is a historic opportunity ... to create millions of good, high-wage jobs in the United States; to provide unprecedented levels of prosperity and economic security for all people of the United States; and to counteract systemic injustices," the resolution, which was shared with POLITICO, states."

CFPB Rolls Back Payday Lender Rules

Trump administration hands payday lenders a major victory. WaPo: "The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Wednesday proposed significantly weakening Obama-era rules governing payday lenders, boosting the fortunes of an industry accused of keeping low-income borrowers trapped in a cycle of debt. Under the existing rule, set to take effect in August, payday lenders would be required to take several steps to ensure borrowers can afford the loans they are being offered. The latest proposals would rescind that requirement and delay the rule’s implementation until 2020. The move is a big win for payday lenders. The industry feared the new regulations would force many of them to close their doors. Payday lenders aggressively lobbied lawmakers to block the rule last year and when that failed turned their attention to convincing the CFPB, now under the leadership of a Trump appointee, to change course."

NM Governor Pulls National Guard From Border

N.M. Governor pulls National Guard from border, citing a 'Charade' at federal level. NPR: "New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has ordered the majority of National Guard troops deployed at her state's Southern border to withdraw, condemning what she called a "charade of border fear-mongering" by President Trump, who has warned of an immigration emergency in the region. "I reject the federal contention that there exists an overwhelming national security crisis at the Southern border," Lujan Grisham said, adding that the area has "some of the safest communities in the country." The governor's order covers most of New Mexico's deployed troops, along with Guard members who have traveled from Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Wisconsin. In all, 118 National Guard troops have been deployed in New Mexico, the governor's office said. Lujan Grisham ordered the withdrawal just before Trump delivered his State of the Union address, in which he railed against illegal immigration and labeled a group of mainly Central American migrants as "illegal immigrants" — despite the fact that most of them are traveling with legal humanitarian visas."

House Orders Investigation of Trump Finances

House intelligence chair announces sweeping investigation into Trump's finances and Russia. CNN: "House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff announced Wednesday a broad investigation his committee would undertake "beyond Russia" into whether President Donald Trump's financial interests are driving his actions. Schiff said the investigation would "allow us to investigate any credible allegation that financial interests or other interests are driving decision-making of the President or anyone in the administration.That pertains to any credible allegations of leverage by the Russians or the Saudis or anyone else," Schiff told reporters after the House Intelligence Committee's first meeting in the new Congress. In a statement, Schiff said the investigation would include a continued probe into Russia's actions during the 2016 election and contacts between the Russia and Trump's team, as well as an examination of "whether any foreign actor has sought to compromise or holds leverage, financial or otherwise, over Donald Trump, his family, his business, or his associates." Schiff said the investigation, which could involve additional congressional committees, would also look at whether Trump or his associates have "sought to influence US government policy in service of foreign interests" and any potential obstruction into the various investigations. Schiff's announcement is the most detailed look yet into how congressional Democrats will investigate Trump's finances and possible ties to foreign entities, and how Democrats are sure to continue probing Trump and his team well after special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation had concluded."

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America Is Already Socialist, And That’s a Good Thing. Miles Mogulescu: "During Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech, many of the old, white, Republican Senators and Representatives must have gotten more exercise than in weeks, jumping to their feet to applaud almost every sentence of the endless rhetoric. One of the moments that got the loudest applause was Trump’s attempt to blame progressive Democrats for the problems of the current Venezuelan government, proclaiming the U.S. “will never be a socialist country” to a loud standing ovation from Republicans (and too many Democrats) and chants of “USA, USA, USA.” Like so much of Trump’s speech, the statement was false. I have news for the Donald: The United States—like every other country with an advanced economy, such as the U.K., Germany, France, and Japan—is already a partly socialist country, with a mixed economy and many government programs that serve the public good. Trump’s false proclamation that America “will never be a socialist country” was an attempt to resurrect the McCarthyite red-baiting of his childhood in order to put his thumb on the capitalist side of the scale favored by the oligarchs in the ongoing debate over how much socialism and how much socialism America should have. With a rising generation viewing greater socialism sympathetically, in the long-run this is a losing strategy. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her young, progressive colleagues – not Donald Trump and old, white Republican politicians – represent the future.

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